Listen to This: BENEE’s Latest Single Dives Into the Struggles of Anxiety

Listen to This: BENEE’s Latest Single Dives Into the Struggles of Anxiety

11.09.21
Photo: Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela for Washington Square News
11.09.21

by Yas Akdag, Candace Patrick, Ethan Saffold and Jack Solomon

This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.

This week, Gen Z stars BENEE and Conan Gray are back with new music. For you old souls, fret not, as we also review tracks by Porcupine Tree and John Mayer. The reviews speak for themselves, so we won’t say more — just read on.

“Doesn’t Matter” by BENEE

Yas Akdag, Music Editor

New Zealand singer-songwriter BENEE’s latest song is a laid-back exploration of mental health struggles. Over a lazy, swung groove and simple, fingerpicked guitar, BENEE lays herself bare. “Have to check that the oven is off / This happens every night / Sometimes you tell me off / Maybe I’m consumed by my mental,” she sings, resonating with anybody who has grappled with anxiety or overthinking. BENEE has always been a confessional lyricist — she is forthcoming about her loneliness in “Supalonely,” which went viral on TikTok. The downbeat tone of “Doesn’t Matter” is reflected in BENEE’s vocal processing. With her vocals drenched in reverb, and as refreshing, lemonade-sweet harmonies join in, BENEE sings the chorus, “I know it doesn’t matter / I know it doesn’t matter / None of this even matters.” The track’s light production highlights her vocals — reminiscent of Billie Eilish’s style — meaning there’s no doubt you hear and understand what BENEE is singing about. There’s a lot of music about mental health nowadays, but BENEE is still one of the most compelling artists addressing the subject.

“Telepath” by Conan Gray 

Candace Patrick, Staff Writer

Conan Gray’s latest single “Telepath” is finally here after he teased it for weeks on TikTok. In this toe-tapping, ’80s-influenced track, Gray likens himself to a telepath for being able to anticipate his ex’s unstable emotions and behavior. “​​It’s just so you, you’re just so predictable / Won’t you try something original / Old news, reused, that’s why I don’t cry,” he sings, demonstrating his disapproval of habitual relationship failures. This sentiment is evocative of some of Gray’s prior music such as “Overdrive,” which was released earlier this year. The bridge features a series of harmonically stacked vocals that characterize “Telepath” as a quintessential breakup anthem, not a far cry from Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” or Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next.” With his sophomore album in the works, we can look forward to many more catchy tunes from Gray.

Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.